Reviews for Euclid : The Great Geometer

School Library Journal Review 2006 September

Gr 6-10 Math departments will welcome these biographies of three of history’s most gifted mathematicians. Archimedes is perhaps the most controversial with his military devices, but Pythagoras comes in a close second with his secret society of disciples. Euclid literally wrote the book on geometry, which has endured for over 2000 years. The biographers are quick to point out that much of what is known about these men is conjecture, noting that many of the documents about them were written hundreds of years after their deaths. They also emphasize that the discoveries attributed to these geniuses may have been the work of others, but that their importance and influence is well established. Each book devotes significant space to placing the subject in historical context, giving readers a sense of what it was like to live, learn, and travel during that particular period. In addition, many of the axioms developed are carefully explained and illustrated, providing a good idea of their process and importance. Frequent color images depict ancient sculpture, papyrus documents, and subsequent manuscripts, maps, and interpretative paintings. These books are fascinating and inspiring. The larger type may seem a bit young for older students, but the payoff in information and interest they will generate is worth the potential affront.Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library

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